Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gites ruraux

For lovers of the French countryside (and who isn't?) there is a national network of holiday cottages called gites ruraux ( that are often reasonably priced. These are independent dwellings usually located in or near rural areas (there are a few in cities) and they are located across the country and even in some overseas territories of France.
The gites de france Website allows you to choose a region of France and search for places that are available during the desired time. Like hotels, gites have a rating system, from one to five ears of corn. The rating corresponds to the facilities offered and more or less to the price. All gites include at least a room with bath and cooking facilities, and some are quite large and luxurious.
Most gites rent by the week, but some are also avaible for weekend stays. Prices do not include heat, which can add quite a bit to the price in the cooler season.
I checked the Website for places in Burgundy, and found some that charge less than 200 euros or about $260 per week in low season. Considering that staying at a gite offers the possibility of additional savings by cooking at home, this could be a real bargain.
Gites in popular areas like Provence tend to get booked up early for the summer season, so if you dream of living the good life in the south of France next summer, it is not too early to start looking now. Larger gites are especially well suited to groups of family or friends.


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